Top 10 Essential Tips To Wedding Planning
10 Essential Tips To Wedding Planning ...
From the "will you" to the "I do", there's a seemingly endless list of things to sort! Vendors. Themes. Invites. Seating Plans. Oh, and the small matter of looking fabulous on your big day! [That goes for Grooms as well as Brides!]
With endless – and often overwhelming – sources of information, we did a bit of filtering, added in a splash of advice and wisdom from our very own Events Manager [and all-round office organiser] and voilá, here’s our 10 tips for planning a wedding like a pro!
1. The Who's Who ...
Or rather, who are the ‘important’ voices in your wedding party; maybe your wedding planner, your Mum, Dad, or best friend? Gathering information, opinions and advice from as many people as possible may seem like a prudent thing to do. However, too many opinions can leave you feeling overwhelmed, confused and doubting your own judgement. We’ve all heard the saying ‘too many cooks …’ and yes, there is no finer example. So, make a list of who your inner circle will be and make this your go-to for help, advice and decisions for your big day.
2. Budget, Budget, Budget ...
Of course, this had to be on the list … not only because it will guide all future decisions when it comes to your day, but also because it can be the biggest cause of disagreements and eventual compromise [read: disappointment.]
Have an honest conversation with your other half and with any parents that are contributing and nail down exact amounts. Awkward, yes, but being clear on exactly what budget you have and who it’s coming from helps avoid any misunderstandings or grey areas down the line.
Now you have the golden number, make a list of must-have’s and wish-list items. Aim to never exceed the budget such that if you overspend on one thing, then you have to cut-back on something else. This is where the wish-list comes in! Chop Chop! Oh and don’t forget to add in an amount for contingency, this is not only prudent, but could also save a few wish-list items from the bin!
3. A well-planned timeline.
This will be your ‘go-to’, your lifeline, to keep things moving and on track. Life kind of gets in the way, especially when the planning for your big day starts so far in advance. So, map out holidays and other big events in your calendar and then start to build the ‘to-do’ list of everything that needs to be arranged, complete with a deadline, taking into account booking and production lead times. This will also help with any procrastination or research ruts that you find yourself in. There’s nothing like a deadline to jolly things along!
4. A little help from an app or two!
There’s loads of apps out there that can help you with everything from keeping things on track with check-lists, key dates, reminders and tasks, to budget tracking, to key contact lists. And the biggest tip is to find an app that genuinely works for you and that you’ll use rather than it just cluttering up your home screen and being a well-intentioned thought, not adding any value.
5. Getting started ...
First thing to tackle, your vision. This is really important as it will guide many of your future decisions … which will be a blessing when you’re faced with endless options and choices. Think about the vibe and feel you want to create, the perfect celebration, and let this guide your decision making.
Next, the guest list. Figuring out the numbers helps with both budget and also the venue, which is the next big thing to tackle … along with the date, of course.
6. Supplier management
With so many suppliers to find and lock-in, this is by far one of the most daunting parts of wedding planning. Who’s the best? Are they available? Will they let me down? So, be diligent when hiring suppliers, from the food and drinks caterer, photographer, lighting, decorations, music – DJ or band, flowers to any other entertainment you want for your big day. Find references or reviews, ask friends for companies they’ve used before and go and meet the suppliers. It’s important that the suppliers feel involved and engaged in your vision for the day.
Then formalise things with contracts and make sure you’re clear on what’s included and what’s not. And for the venue, make sure they’re clear on your vision with things like decorations, entertainment and timings, to check that everything is possible.
Finally make sure you keep a list of all the companies that you’ll be working with, the point of contact – plus a back-up – and their phone numbers.
By all means, give your DIY project a go. Nothing creates a memory more than that little part of your wedding that has your own personal touch. However, try this wayyyy before you think you should, to not only account for, errr, practice time, but to also ‘live with it’ for a while to make any adjustments. You want to remember your contribution for the right reasons!
8. 'Customer Service' mindset.
Think of the best customer service you’ve ever had and we bet it involved a thoughtful, personalised action. So going the extra mile to think of special, meaningful gifts for family or thoughtful welcome bags for wedding guests, left in their hotel rooms, with information on the schedule, activities you’ve arranged plus goodies, will all help make that extra special impact and a day to remember, not just for you, but for your guests too.
9. Get ready for a challenge ... or three!
Prepare for the unexpected! A contradiction by all accounts but something will go wrong or not quite as planned; a forgotten name card, a broken zip, a supplier in the wrong place. Being mentally prepared is as important as being literally prepared. Keeping a cool head will help you to think through the next steps and find a solution. Where there’s a will, there’s always a way!
10. Finally, step back and enjoy ...
A great way to make sure you’re focused on the day is to hire a day-of coordinator who can pick up where you left off and take the strain on the day. They will ensure everything goes to plan and as you’d prepared for and imagined, guaranteeing a stress-free day for you.
Planning a wedding, even for a professional event organiser, is a huge undertaking. So much thought, time and energy goes into making the day, perfect. And the process should be as big a part of the wedding as the actual day itself. So, make sure you take the time to look around the room and take in all your hard [and of course, well-planned, wink, wink] work and soak up what will be one of the best days of your life.